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Full-time: France 2-1 Republic of Ireland

  • Hosts advance to the quarter-finals after an impressive second-half fightback in Lyon
  • Republic of Ireland took the lead early on through Robbie Brady's penalty after Shane Long had been tripped by Paul Pogba
  • France struggled throughout the opening 45 minutes but two goals in the space of 225 seconds from Antoine Griezmann turned the last-16 tie on its head
  • The Atletico Madrid star emphatically headed Bacary Sagna's cross beyond Darren Randolph before collecting an excellent knockdown from Olivier Giroud to notch again
  • Ireland tired quickly after their exertions against Italy in midweek and were reduced to 10 men when last man Shane Duffy was rightfully dismissed for bringing down Griezmann
  • Didier Deschamps' side will now face either England or Iceland at the Stade de France next Sunday night
  • Adil Rami and N'Golo Kante will miss that last-eight fixture after each collecting their second yellow card of the tournament
  • Other last-16 matches today: Germany vs Slovakia, Hungary vs Belgium
  • Two arrested in Belgium after anti-terror raids stop Euro 2016 attack
  • Nice airport evacuated by army after 'suspicious bag' found two days before England Euro 2016 match

That is all from me for now, but you can join my IBTimes UK colleague Tony Mogan for live coverage of Germany vs Slovakia from Lille. Steve Busfield will be along later to keep you fully abreast of Hungary's clash with Belgium.

Take care.

Heartbreak for Ireland, who looked so comfortable in that first half only to see the game turn completely on its head in the space of just three second-half minutes. Had they held on for a little longer at 1-1, then you may have fancied them to take it to extra-time. Both O'Neill's committed team and the supporters have been a credit to the tournament.

France flattered to deceive once again for large parts, but in Griezmann, Pogba, Payet et al they have an array of stellar individual attacking talent who are all capable of being match-winners on their day. They looked less than impressive at the back and the loss of their defensive shield in Kante will be a concern ahead of the quarter-finals. Rami will also be suspended.



France 2-1 Republic of Ireland

Griezmann is slipped through by Payet but is again denied his hat-trick by a good save from Randolph. One last chance now for Ireland to pump a long ball forward.

Ireland are out on their feet here and France are content just to run down the clock with a series of short passes.

Sissoko has come on for Coman, who must have picked up a knock considering that he himself was only introduced at half-time.

Hendrick is perhaps fortunate not to see a second yellow for a rather reckless sliding challenge on Coman near the dugouts.

Three minutes of added time for Ireland to find a leveller from somewhere.

Gignac and Payet both try their luck to no avail. Long then combines with Walters and looks to tee up Brady, but the Norwich man is kept in check by Evra.

Lively substitute Gignac steals a march on Keogh but can only steer Matuidi's left-wing cross wide.

Ireland counter and Walters, who came on for Murphy a little earlier, sends his shot the wrong side of the post.

Long has also now picked up a yellow card, so he too will miss the quarter-final in the unlikely event that Ireland now get that far.

Still France pour forward and Randolph has to be alert to turn away Matuidi's sneaky cross-cum-shot at his near post. Griezmann then just fails to connect with a lovely ball from Payet.

Gignac, the former Lorient, Toulouse and Marseille striker who now plies his club trade with Tigres UANL of the Mexican top-flight, has the chance to land the killer blow but his first effort is saved by Randolph before a brilliant curling strike cannons back off the crossbar.

Ireland are still alive but very much on the ropes.

Andre-Pierre Gignac
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Giroud shakes the hand of replacement Gignac as he walks off. Not a vintage performance from the Gunners frontman by any means, but his contribution for Griezmann's first goal was vital.

Griezmann is very eager to add a third. However, his close-range free-kick clatters off Giroud and wide.

O'Neill brings on O'Shea for McClean to plug that defensive gap and Hoolahan has also replaced McCarthy. How Ireland could desperately use some more late heroics from him.

Not long after McClean gets to the byline and sees his low pass towards Long cut out by Koscielny, France launch another attack as Giroud threads a ball through for the run of Griezmann.

As he closes is on a hat-trick, the Atletico Madrid star is sent tumbling by a mistimed sliding challenge from last man Duffy. It's a free-kick right on the edge of the box rather than a penalty, but the young centre-back is still rightly handed his marching orders.

This has all unravelled devastatingly quickly for Ireland. 20 minutes left for the 10 men to draw level.

Shane Duffy
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Red card: Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland)

Yes, they can. And what were we saying about those hopeless long passes up towards Giroud?

The latest comes from Koscielny, but this time his Arsenal teammate climbs above Keogh to win a brilliant knockdown. With both centre-backs going for the same ball, a huge gap opens up for Griezmann to coolly notch his second of the afternoon with a low, left-footed strike into the corner.

Two goals in 225 seconds from France have knocked the stuffing out of Ireland. Can they muster a response or is this last-16 tie now out of reach?

Antoine Griezmann
Lars Baron/Getty Image

Goal: France 2-1 Republic of Ireland (Antoine Griezmann)

58 minutes on the clock and France inevitably get their equaliser. Payet fires a quick pass out to Bacary Sagna on the right and he produces a terrific cross that Griezmann powerfully heads beyond the helpless Randolph.

Cheers of joy and relief around the Stade de Lyon. Can they push on and grab a winner?

Antoine Griezmann
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Goal: France 1-1 Republic of Ireland (Antoine Griezmann)

Matuidi, who has had a very quiet Euro 2016 campaign to date, lets fly with a powerful 25-yard strike that goes through the defender's legs before being beaten wide by Randolph.

Ireland come within a whisker of a second goal. An effective counter-attack ends in an enticing low cross from McClean towards Long, who gets ahead of Evra but is denied a tap-in by the outstretched hand of Lloris.

France quickly grab the initiative again as Payet drags an effort not far wide.


Hendrick and Coleman, both of whom are on a yellow card, team up to bring down Payet.

His free-kick is flicked on towards the back post by Pogba, where Koscielny dives to head just wide. That was close.

The second half is off and running. Deschamps has made one change at half-time, replacing defensive midfielder Kante with a pacy attacking talent in Coman.

Commendable ambition, but will that have the desired effect?


Well, who on earth saw this coming?

An explosive and utterly unexpected start to the half, but confident Ireland actually look good value for their narrow lead over the hosts. Their shape and work ethic has been far superior and those hopeful long balls up towards a sluggish Giroud are just not working for France. Could we see the likes of Anthony Martial and Coman sooner rather than later?

Deschamps certainly needs to do something to revitalise his stuttering side.

Robbie Brady
Lars Baron/Getty Images
Robbie Brady
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Republic of Ireland
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images


France 0-1 Republic of Ireland

Pogba shows excellent strength and skill to hold off his marker and burst forward towards the penalty area. He tries to slip a low pass through for Giroud but the Arsenal striker is too slow to react and Randolph can gather.

Tremendous last-ditch defending from Duffy and Ward, who each register impressive blocks to keep France at bay. What was Keogh doing?

Rami becomes the latest player to be removed from quarter-final contention with his second yellow card of the competition. The Sevilla centre-back, promoted to first-choice in the absence of Raphael Varane, Mamadou Sakho and Jeremy Mathieu, hauls down Long near the halfway line as Ireland look to counter.

Adil Rami and Shane Long
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Hendrick wins a free-kick from Kante. Brady floats a ball into the box and the towering Duffy rises above Pogba to head narrowly wide.

Hendrick looked to be booked for foolishly kicking the ball away after getting that decision and he will also be ruled out of the quarter-final.

Just over five minutes until half-time and Ireland are holding firm. Deschamps will be most displeased.

McClean overhits his cross towards Long, only to see his teammate bring the ball over his head with a glorious first touch. Evra eventually helps to snuff out the danger.

The French fans boo incessantly as Hendrick sinks to the turf in order to get some help with that affected knee. The Derby midfielder, who has had an excellent tournament thus far, trudges off gingerly and may need to be replaced.

Long is also still trying to shake off that earlier knock. Both players are critical for Ireland.

Jeff Hendrick
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Hendrick controls the ball nicely on his chest and takes a painful bang on the knee from Pogba. France swing in another free-kick but Giroud is whistled for an alleged push on Keogh.

Long looks to have hurt his ankle during a coming together with Patrice Evra and limps off for treatment. What an enormous loss this would be for O'Neill.

Kante's trip above the ankle brings down James McClean and he immediately follows Coleman into the book. Having already been yellow carded against Albania and with cautions not wiped until after the next round, that means the combative Leicester midfielder will miss the quarter-finals should France progress that far.


N'Golo Kante
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Randolph is called into action once more to deal with a powerful long-range free-kick from Pogba. Seamus Coleman has picked up the first caution of the afternoon for a foul from behind on Payet.

The French marking is slack to say the least and Murphy has Lloris scrambling with a well-struck volley. Jeff Hendrick gets to the rebound first but instead of squaring for Long to tap home, he loses composure and rolls the ball straight into the 'keeper's grateful arms.

At the other end, Kante wins back possession for Les Bleus in a dangerous area and Griezmann bends a shot straight at Randolph.

Long, who is one yellow card away from a suspension, concedes a cheap free-kick by barging Pogba to the ground. Payet's latest delivery is headed towards goal by Griezmann but Randolph holds once more.

That blow looks to have seriously winded Pogba and he is evidently in some discomfort.

Paul Pogba
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Lloris races a long way off his line to punch into touch with both fists as Laurent Koscielny struggles to hold back the threat of Long. The Southampton striker, a talented hurler in his youth, is quick and deceptively strong.

Griezmann swings in a deep left-footed cross. Giroud begins to peel off the back of Duffy, only for the Blackburn defender to head behind with a crucial touch.

Payet's subsequent corner hits Giroud and deflects well wide.

A wounded and stunned France race forward in search of a quick equaliser. A handball from James McCarthy gives Payet a free-kick opportunity well within his range, but a curled effort is straight down the throat of West Ham teammate Darren Randolph.

Pogba, looking to atone for that early error, then crosses to the back post for Griezmann to head over.

This certainly was not the start that Deschamps had in mind.


What an absolutely unbelievable start to this game. Ireland launch the first attack of the afternoon and Long quickly tumbles under a clear trip from Pogba, of all people.

Brady, who was the hero against Italy, enhances his reputation further still by sending his penalty in off the post with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris diving the wrong way.


Robbie Brady
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Goal: France 0-1 Republic of Ireland (Robbie Brady)

We are underway at the Stade de Lyon. Your match referee is Nicola Rizzoli of Italy.

Can France lay down a marker here and live up to their status as overwhelming favourites? Or will a spirited Ireland spoil the party and finally secure revenge for 'Le Hand Of God'?

We are about to find out....

The national anthems are complete. Kick-off is now just moments away.

You might expect a host nation to be significantly bolstered by the impact of a supportive home crowd, but we are betting that the Irish fans will make themselves heard today and then some. We might as well be in Dublin...

France vs Republic of Ireland
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
France vs Republic of Ireland
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
France vs Republic of Ireland
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
France vs Republic of Ireland
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

While we wait for kick-off, let's briefly rundown what has happened in the last 16 so far. On Saturday, Xherdan Shaqiri's sensational bicycle kick cancelled out Jakub Blaszczykowski's opener for Poland but Switzerland bowed out on penalties after new Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka blasted his effort wide.

Two home nations met for the very first time in the knockout stages of a major tournament in Paris, where a late own goal from Gareth McAuley - that owed much to a brilliant cross from Gareth Bale- saw Wales seal a fairytale quarter-final berth at the expense of Northern Ireland.

In the evening kick-off, Portugal edged past Croatia in a truly dire affair thanks to Ricardo Quaresma's extra-time header.

World champions Germany face Slovakia later on today and Belgium take on Hungary. Tomorrow will see Spain entertain Italy and England go toe-to-toe with Iceland.

A reminder that the winners of today's meeting in Lyon will likely face England in the quarter-finals at the Stade de France next Sunday night. That is unless plucky minnows Iceland can spring a massive shock in Nice tomorrow evening...

A few Irish fans on social media are understandably disgruntled that Hoolahan has been left on the bench again. Although he inexplicably spurned a gilt-edged chance against Italy, he quickly made up for that by providing the pinpoint delivery for Brady's winner and his stunner in Ireland's opener would have been enough to see off Sweden were it not for Ciaran Clark's late own goal.

Will O'Neill live to regret not starting his most creative attacking threat or can he work wonders from the bench once more?

Martin O'Neill and Didier Deschamps

As for Ireland, who have reached the knockout stages of a European Championship for the first time, O'Neill harbours no concerns about his team's conditioning after that draining win over Italy and a lack of an appropriate break in comparison to their well-rested opponents.

We'll go into the game with some confidence on the back of the Italy performance, which was very good. The approach is within ourselves. You know you're going to come up against top-quality players, whether they're in midfield, forwards or about the best defenders going. The players come up against this sort of quality all the time and they're ready for it. The French have some very, very good players, who play for big teams.

The players who played [against Italy] showed that level and intensity, which they kept up for 90 minutes – that takes its toll and rest has been the most important thing for us. It's a matter of ticking over; it's tournament football and you've got to rest up. We have to cope with it, get on with it, and if the players have recovered in time to show the same effort and zeal as the other night, we'll be ready for it.

The nature of the game is when you don't have the ball you're trying to deny them space. But I always find great players will find that space and hurt you – and France have some great players. France are hosts and favourites for the competition. They remind me in some ways of 1998 – great pressure but they improved as the competition went on and eventually won it. This team might feel the same.

I've spent my time [in charge] sending out adventurous teams to win games. We played a very adventurous game against Sweden, and weren't allowed to do that against Belgium. Against Italy we needed some extra energy in the team and we got that. I don't think you'd want to head out of the competition meekly; we want to go out blazing if we can, and try to stay in it, because we feel we can do something.

Speaking at his press conference earlier this week, Deschamps reiterated the need for defensive stability against a functional/hard-working Irish side short on star power but not lacking in heart, spirit and intensity.

A knockout match makes things a little more exciting but it's not going to inhibit us or make us more fragile. We're in the last 16; our aim is to get over this next hurdle. At the top level, you need to be able to defend well, but to win you need to score one more goal than the opposition – otherwise it's a penalty shoot-out. We've worked hard, looked at our potential defensive concerns and tried to be as solid as possible. We only conceded once in the first three matches and that was a penalty – we'll need more of the same.

Ireland have a lot of heart, they work very hard – but it's not just that, there's some good footballers in that team. In their first three matches, they kept the ball on the ground even though they play a more direct game, as they have forwards who are suited to that style and pick up the second ball. There's some good players – Whelan, Hendrick, Hoolahan if he plays, McCarthy, Shane Long – and they know what football's all about.

Mental strength doesn't make you score goals, but it is important. Ireland are an example of that – they show great solidarity and hard work. We often talk about the famous 'fighting spirit' but they don't just do that – they give everything. It's almost genetic. They're ready to go into battle, as a unit, and they will fight all the way for each other. That's why I know this will be a tricky match.

It's shaping up to be a beautiful day in central France...


Ireland are unchanged from their dramatic late, do-or-die victory over Italy on Wednesday, a match that was effectively a knockout tie for them given that anything other than three points would have seen them exit the tournament at the group stage. Robbie Brady was the hero of the hour, nodding Wes Hoolahan's perfect cross beyond the onrushing Salvatore Sirigu to provoke scenes of sheer ecstasy in Lille.

Euro 2016 best photos
Philippe Huguen/AFP

O'Neill continues with Daryl Murphy as a strike partner for Shane Long and centre-back duo Richard Keogh and Shane Duffy retain their respective places ahead of John O'Shea and Ciaran Clark.

Burnley left-back Stephen Ward has recovered from an ankle problem and Jon Walters is fit enough for the bench after returning to training in the aftermath of an achilles injury.

Republic of Ireland XI to face France: Randolph, Coleman, Keogh, Duffy, Ward, Brady, Hendrick, McCarthy, McClean, Long, Murphy

An early team announcement from France, although there are no surprises from Didier Deschamps. Les Bleus rested several players in their goalless draw against the Swiss with qualification already assured and those changes are reversed today.

In midfield, Blaise Matuidi and N'Golo Kante's partnership is restored as Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko make way. Olivier Giroud, who, like Adil Rami, sat out a recent training session, is recalled in place of Andre-Pierre Gignac up front and man of the moment Dimitri Payet starts instead of Kingsley Coman out wide.

Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann will carry most of the attacking load.

Paul Pogba
Getty Images

France XI to face Republic of Ireland: Lloris, Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra, Matuidi, Kante, Pogba, Griezmann, Payet, Giroud

"Yeah, I was there. I will not think about that for one second. How long ago was it? Seven years. F*****g hell, move on."

Those were the words of Republic of Ireland stalwart Robbie Keane when questioned regarding that now infamous World Cup qualifying play-off second-leg defeat to France back in November 2009, when Thierry Henry's controversial handball in the build-up to William Gallas' extra-time winner broke Irish hearts and cruelly denied them a place at the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

Ireland v France

Whether he or not he chooses it to use it as motivation ahead of this afternoon's reunion with the Euro 2016 hosts in the first knockout round, there is no doubt that the incident will still be lingering in the minds of the thousand of green-clad supporters in attendance at the Stade De Lyon.

Can Martin O'Neill's side inflict the most satisfying revenge? Or will their Gallic counterparts feed off home advantage and announce themselves as serious contenders after a rather underwhelming Group A campaign characterised by fairly uninspiring performances and late, late goals?

As ever, you can find out right here with IBTimes UK. All the build-up from the first of Sunday's three last-16 fixtures to come, including breaking team news and confirmed line-ups. We will also have live updates after kick-off at 14.00 BST.